By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The 50th annual Charity Ball is the biggest yet.
Two bands, dinner catered by Joshua Simpson and a record number of living ads – 176 – will make Friday “A Night to Remember,” which is this year’s theme.
“It’s been a night to remember for our last 50 balls, and hopefully this one will be another night to remember,” said Charity Ball chairman Michelle Taylor.
The Junior Auxiliary Charity Ball, set for 7 p.m. Friday at the BancorpSouth Arena, is JA’s only fundraiser, and all proceeds go to help school children in Tupelo and Lee County.
“We’ve raised enough so far to keep all of our projects and to add one more,” Taylor said. “That’s wonderful, because we’re able to help so many more kids.”
The Johnny Fears Jazz Band will perform during the ad presentation and dinner, and the Patrick Smith Band from Vicksburg will perform dance music for the rest of the evening.
This year’s menu features lemon-thyme vinaigrette over pickled onions and mixed greens; herb-roasted chicken with bell pepper coulis; Stilton-smashed gold potatoes; sesame-scented green beans; ginger-honey glazed carrots; and celebration sponge cake with blackberry coulis.
Mark McAlister is in charge of the floral design, while Josh Cochran of JC Designs and Britt Caldwell are creating the lighting designs. Lucia Randle created the artwork for the event.
Tickets are $40.
This year’s ball features the first-ever Crown Sponsors, Toyota and United Furniture.
The event has grown since its beginnings 50 years ago, said Charlotte Westbrook, who chaired the first Charity Ball, and the community has continued to support the ball.
“The community was behind it then and is behind it now,” she said. “Come and support the Junior Auxiliary, and see all of your friends.”